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Restaurants associations divided over Covid passport

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The need to show the Covid passport for entrance to bars and restaurants continues to divide opinion among employers associations.

The restaurants associations within the CAEB Confederation of Balearic Business Associations and Pimem federation of small to medium-sized business associations agree on one thing. Since the requirement first came into force on December 4 and was extended on December 23 to all establishments regardless of interior capacity, there have been occasions when customers have refused to comply with the obligation.

The most extreme case occurred at the weekend at a Palma bar, where a group of 18 people threatened the proprietor after he had asked them for the certificate. The police were called and prevented any serious incident from occurring.

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Helmut Clemens, vice-president of the Pimem association, says: “It is totally understandable that this happens when some policymakers are saying that we should treat the virus like a normal flu. It’s logical that some people do not then understand why these measures are being taken and react badly. It is polarising society and that is very dangerous. I understand that people can be indignant, and we are the ones who are exposed to their discontent.”

Clemens has been very critical of the measure from the outset and continues to argue that it should be withdrawn in order not to further harm the sector.

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The CAEB association has shown its full support for a measure that it had itself requested. However, there is recognition that some problems have been caused. The president, Alfonso Robledo, says: “In general, there aren’t problems, but we are sometimes surprised by clients, friends even. They get angry and demand the complaints form. There are people who are very obsessed with this issue.”

The requirement is in force until January 24. If the figures continue to rise and there are outbreaks due to social gatherings for Sant Antoni and Sant Sebastià, despite the fiestas having for the most part been cancelled, a relaxation of the measure will be unlikely.

The government has meanwhile given no indication that it might extend the measure. Requiring the Covid passport for terraces is understood not to have been given serious consideration. Were it to be, the CAEB association wouldn’t be against this. Despite some discontent that has so far been caused, Robledo is of the view that the passport has contributed to people feeling safer at a restaurant.

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